The state university where I live publishes a magazine that gets distributed all over campus on a regular basis. One fairly recent copy had an article about sex. Now, I am certainly not interested in tips and advice for their version of a positive sexual experience, but I was curious if it would be as bad as I thought it would be. What I found was rather surprising … and not.
As you might expect in an article for the college-aged and presumably sexually active audience, the article started with a PSA for safe sex and offered various resources. There was also the expected, “Hey, it’s totally normal to hook up and experiment with a variety people and methods.” Not too much there I didn’t anticipate. However, there was also acknowledgement that pornography is a bad way to be educated about sex and, furthermore, is harmful to healthy sexual relationships (though there was no mention of the healthiest sexual relationships being monogamous and within the context of marriage). The source quoted in this section said that increased porn use resulted in less gratification in “actual” relationships. Not a bad assessment as far as that goes.
What really interested me though was one individual interviewed who showed up to the college and decided that if they felt like having sex, they would just go out and find anyone who wanted to as well. They talked about being with multiple partners at one time as one of their more unique experiences. After all, as they said, “sex is sex,” right?
This same person only a paragraph later made a statement I wish more people would read, and then be as confused and encouraged as I was. In recalling their unique exploit in particular, they said, “There was a big realization afterwards how little it meant. After I did that I was like, ‘That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done’… The only way that I could beat that is actually having sex with someone I cared about. Like, actually having an emotional connection and having sex with the same person is the only thing I could actually do to beat that. And I recognized that immediately afterwards.” After this stunning acknowledgement by this person of their desire for, and the value of, monogamy, the article’s authors then go on to extoll the virtues of Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism. Yeah, I was scratching my head as well.
Absent the noted issues with the article, it was actually a very compelling argument against porn and polyamory (unintentionally though, it seems), yet it certainly fell short of stating married sex with a lifelong partner is the best, safest and most fulfilling sex – namely because that was how God designed it to be. The interviewee noted above tacitly admitted to their strong desire for exactly the kind of sexual relationship they were designed by their Creator to enjoy.
My hope and prayer is that at least some of the magazine’s readers noted the confusing message in this article, and, moreover, were left thinking there is actually a better way to view sex than as a recreational activity devoid of emotional and even spiritual connection. The way our culture (and pretty much every culture) predominantly views sex is clearly broken, and the consequences are many and often severe – abortion, depression, fatherlessness, disease and poverty, to name a few. I pray more and more people recognize God’s way is the best way in all things, and particularly with regard to sex. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth.